Oleanders in June
He entered the club shortly after midnight, grabbed a broken bar stool and popped a squat next to me. I watched him from the corner of my eye. He reached into his pocket and pulled out seven crumbled one dollar bills. His jeans were faded and poor. “How much for a gin and tonic?” I stared straight ahead, pretending I was interested in the shitty soccer game blasting above the cash register. “What are you, deaf? I asked how much a drink is around here.“ I felt my skin tighten and my forehead retract. “Do I look like a bartender to you?” He scooted closer. I refused to make eye contact, “Look, buddy! I don’t make small talk with your kind.” I downed the sugary drink I wholeheartedly despised and made my way upstairs to look for Tommy. Mid way up the stairs I felt the blood rush from my face, three loud booms. BLAP BLAP BLAP. Mr. Gin didn’t get his drink. One to the head, two to the chest. His blood soaking quickly into the porous wood, his brains splattered like a Dali clock all over the tator tots and uneaten burger I left behind. Tommy looked up at me. “Sorry you had to see that, kid.” I shrugged and kept walking up the stairs. My left hand trembled violently as I grabbed the banister. Flashes of running though an empty field during a hurricane flooded my vision. The ghost of my mother calling to me from the blue room to the left of the parlor. “Keep climbing child, you’re almost there.” When I reached the top of the stairs, I collapsed in a flood of silent tears.
My mother’s ghost wrapping around me like a warm blanket and then instantly the room went dark. I began to dream of oleanders in June.
You speak of being offended by toxic positivity as you sit there in your Carhartt beanie choking down a chai latte.
As if you knew the impact of a “you should smile more.” Or “it can’t be that bad, cheer up!”
when you’ve just had your lip split open by a baseball bat. You never had blood gushing from your brow on the wet pavement or the world reject you. You have never known the courage it takes to stand up and start again with nothing but your integrity.
The worst thing that has ever happened to you was not getting exactly what you wanted from a phone call to mommy.
So yeah, fuck you and your entire facade. Trying to coin sympathy from a phrase that you could never possibly understand.
Left to rot on the steps of the cathedral.
Blood boiling in the morning
White silk stained by years of running.
Fingers cut and bruised by the dishonor of others.
A pound of flesh for Jesus,
weighed in mojo bags
by beggars and thieves.
The Egyptians believed the most
important thing you could do in
your life was die.
An eye for an eye.
A tooth for a tooth.
righteous in a hollow tomb.
The real face of Moses
and disfigured by time.
The boy king deceived by high priests.
Sodomised and murdered by sick belief.
Nothing new under the sun.
Wisdom cannot be tested against ignorance and greed.
So the Towers fall one by one.
As I burn here praying on the steps of the cathedral.
To a God known by none.